Tunes for the trek from Lincoln to the Arch.

Illustrated by Stephanie Zhu

"I'm Scum" - IDLES

Let the bellowing sound of the tom-toms kick you into gear as you head south. Jason Williamson’s growl atop Adam Devonshire’s swaggering bassline pairs well with the harsh brick of Frat Row. The song’s macho jock-rock vibe juxtaposes with its socially conscious lyrics: “I’m laughing at the tyrants … I sing at fascists ‘til my head comes off.” As you enter the Sargent parking lot, start your day off with some good old-fashioned self- deprecation: “I’m scum, I’m scum, I’m scum, I’m scum…”

"N.E.O" - Chai

When you hear the shuffling drums of “N.E.O.,” you’ve reached Tech tempo. Bikers buzz past like bumblebees, and a club peddling samosas tries to outsell the one pushing donuts across the steps. The song settles into a nice bass-driven groove as herds of math nerds swarm in and out of the building. Engineers bustle around the basement of Ford, and skateboarders swivel around headphoned pedestrians. It’s pure pandemonium, especially because of the disorienting guitar riffs and unrelenting drum beat. Oh, and it’s mostly sung in Japanese.

"He Loves Me" - Brittany Howard

As you pass Ford and venture into the open field surrounding the Shakespeare Garden, let the reverberated drum hits that kick off “He Loves Me” wash away the chaotic energy of “N.E.O.” Howard’s voice glides on top of spacious instrumentation like a refreshing wave of comfort. As you pass Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on your left and Sheil Catholic Center on your right, Howard sings, “I know He still loves me when I’m smoking blunts / Loves me when I’m drinking too much,” a lyric relevant to anyone balancing their faith with the college lifestyle.

"So Good" - Omar Apollo

You’re probably tired at this point, but once you hit the vast Deering Meadow and hear the opening synth riff of “So Good,” you’ll hit your stride. The song has a cheesy mid-’80s vibe and an infectious groove perfect for dancing on a warm day (which, at Northwestern, is anything above 50). As you pass groups of prospective students gazing at the landmarks you learned about when you first toured, reflect on how it feels to finally be on the other side. As Apollo sings in falsetto, “This love is like a dream,” turn the volume up and boogie. You made it.